21st Oct, 2016

Safety of services at town surgery slammed as 'inadequate' by inspectors

Joshua Godfrey 26th Aug, 2016 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

HEALTH inspectors have slammed Evesham’s Riverside Surgery in a damning report which brands the safety of services it provides as ‘inadequate’, the Observer can reveal.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out an inspection of the Waterside surgery at the start of August but discovered a catalogue of errors and demanded practice bosses deliver improvements.

Among the findings in the report were details of a blunder in September 2015 which saw prescription medicine sent out to an Evesham resident despite a relative contacting the surgery to say it was no longer needed.

An apology was made and a system was to be introduced for the removal of medicines when they were no longer required.

Inspectors also found two fridges containing vaccines were temporarily located in a communal room during completion of the extension works.

“We found one fridge was not maintaining an appropriate temperature to keep vaccines stable,” the report said.

“Both fridges were locked but the keys had not been removed to prevent unauthorised access.”

Inspectors were told the day after the inspection a new fridge had been ordered and the vaccines in the faulty fridge had been destroyed.

During their visit, inspectors discovered six uncollected prescription bags containing medicines despite some dating back eight weeks.

“No evidence of arrangements were in place for staff to check if they were still needed. These medicines were removed immediately when we brought this to the attention of senior staff.,” the report said.

Despite the failings, the CQC did rate as good the surgery’s effectiveness, responsiveness and caring.

The surgery was praised for working effectively with other health and social care professionals to understand and meet the range and complexity of patients’ needs in order to assess and plan on-going care and treatment.

Speaking to the Observer, Dr Amanda Swindlehurst, manager of the Riverside Surgery, said the practice fully accepted the inspector’s findings which they took ‘very seriously’.

“We have a plan in place to respond to each of the recommendations for improvement and are confident we will achieve a more positive report at our next inspection.

“All of the issues highlighted in the report have already been fully addressed including updated procedures for reporting fridge temperatures and recording learning from significant events.

“We continue to welcome feedback from our patients if they have anything they wish to share with us.

“Although the overall rating is disappointing, the report does highlight some areas where we provide patients with good quality primary care services such as safeguarding, appropriate reviews for high risk medicines and the practice offers personalised pro-active care to all its patients.”

A further inspection will be carried out within the next six months to assess how the surgery has responded.

Visit www.cqc.org.uk and search for Dr Swindlehurst and partners to view the CQC’s full report.